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Building Community Blog

It's November 27—Happy Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a "global movement to inspire individuals to help others through the gift of time, donations, goods or using their voice in support of a cause." This year, we're asking supporters to sign up to support our Multiplying the Impact campaign, as we seek to double the number of Habitat homeownership opportunities we're able to provide for local families.

Guest blog by Lillie Taggart
Sr. A Brush with Kindness Volunteer Facilitator

What happens when you describe your job to people?

Yesterday, in introducing my work I said, “I serve as an AmeriCorps member at Habitat for Humanity. Today we demolished a bathroom!” Blank and somewhat saddened eyes stared back. I realized the issue and relieved their worry: “I serve on the home repair side!” I explained. The home repair side that, all too often, people don’t know about.

Last week, I called my friend in Chico, California, after hearing news of the most recent wildfires raging out West. He and his wife had evacuated their home and were staying with friends. After several days anxiously wondering what had happened to their home, they were notified that, while there was some minor damage, their home was still standing. His brother’s family, who lived in nearby Paradise, wasn’t so lucky. Their home had been burned to the ground. They hadn’t been able to get to the house to retrieve any possessions before the fire came. Everything was gone.

With Thanksgiving just days away, are you looking forward to or dreading the family table conversations? If you fall into the latter category (even if you don't), you might get a good laugh from this 2015 sketch on Saturday Night Live called "A Thanksgiving Miracle." In the sketch, a family barely makes it into their Thanksgiving dinner when they start arguing. But then something happens that miraculously brings everyone together: Adele's hit song "Hello" starts playing, and no one can resist singing along. It's hilarious.

At Habitat, we know something else that brings people together: home. We believe that everyone deserves a safe, stable place to call home. When we advocate for policies that support affordable housing, politicians of every political stripe get on board. Here are a few ideas of things you can do with your family that also make a positive difference for housing in the Twin Cities.

If you're shopping for a home today, you may have noticed a lot of other people looking at homes during your house hunt. That's because the housing market is very hot right now! A busy housing market means sellers may likely receive several offers on the same day and have to decide which one to accept. Some sellers will take the highest offer, but others may be swayed by a buyer who pays earnest money.

Don't know what earnest money is? That's what we're here to explain! Here are the basics.

In September began the new AmeriCorps year, and with that always comes change. This year; however, brought more changes than just new members. Keep riding along through this blog to meet the current members and new roles this year has brought.

Guest blog by Greta Gaetz
Local/Regional Policy & Advocacy Coordinator


The 2018 midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 6, and the outcomes greatly impact the work of Habitat. At the federal level, the House of Representatives changed control from a Republican to Democratic majority. House Democrats have offered strong support for protecting our federal funding within the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget, and for AmeriCorps, and this new majority should help Habitat efforts to secure funding increases in the coming years. In addition, this shift will lead to new leadership and committee chairs. The Habitat Advocacy Team will look out for impactful committee assignments and Minnesota representation in committee leadership in January 2019.

This past Monday, over 220 Habitat supporters gathered alongside staff to celebrate the public launch of our Multiplying the Impact campaign at McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis. The new campaign is centered around the goal of more than doubling the number of homeownership opportunities Habitat is able to provide over the next few years.

Guest Blog by Kim Welch
Global Village Volunteer

“Everyone has something to give. Everyone has something to gain.” — Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity International, Vietnam 2018

Friday arrived and there was renewed energy inside us all. Could it really be our last build day together? There was so much more we wanted to do. More we wanted to give. The aches and pains our bodies felt earlier seemed gone.

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